Royal Traveller in Bluegrass Unlimited

Missy Raines has relentlessly established a reputation as a first-tier bassist and bandleader. Royal Travellerbuilds a strong case for her continued emergence as a singer, songwriter, and arranger as well. Produced by Alison Brown, this recording features five songs written or co-written by Raines, seamlessly integrated into a well-chosen array of covers.

Her “Allegheny Town” is a gentle, engaging song that fits in well with a body of material that manages to be both energetic and introspective. When she includes relatively familiar songs, such as Ola Belle Reed’s “I’ve Endured,” Laurie Lewis’ “Swept Away,” and “Fearless Love” (recorded by Bonnie Raitt and Dede Wyland), they all contain unique touches that make the songs distinctly hers. Adding Robbie Fulks’ “Goodbye Virginia” and Kate Campbell’s “Free World” only broadens the considerable stylistic range of this recording.

Missy Raines